Voter's Guide, 2019 Fall Elections, Other Parishes
Position District Judge, 22nd Judicial District Court, Division F
NameHarold S. Bartholomew, Jr.

Campaign Information

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Bio Information

Party AffiliationRepublican
ProfessionAttorney At Law
Present Employer / positionI resigned from the District Attorney's Office to run for Judge, Division F, 22nd JDC
Length of residence in JurisdictionOver 16 years
List of educational institutions and degreesLoyola University School of Law - Juris Doctor in 1986

Tulane University - Bachelor of Science in 1983
Prior elected and appointed positionsFrom 2003 until August of 2019 I served as an Assistant District Attorney in the 22nd Judicial District. I resigned from that position to seek election to Division F of the 22nd Judicial District Court.

As an ADA, I have served in leadership roles including Elder Abuse Unit Supervisor since 2005, Chief of Felony Screening (including Grand Jury), and Chief of the Misdemeanor Section (including the Domestic Violence Unit). I served briefly in the Civil Section. The position that I held the longest was as a Felony Jury Trial Prosecutor, where I tried over 60 jury trials before Judge Martin Coady alone from 2009 to 2014.

From 2006 to 2019 I secured federal grants on an annual basis to fund resources necessary to operate the Elder Abuse Unit.

Prior to the latter part of 2002 I was regularly appointed as a Traffic Hearing Officer (THO) at First Parish Court. THO is an appointed position that handles traffic matters at night. I have also been appointed as an Ad Hoc Judge to the Misdemeanor docket during the day at First Parish Court. Earlier I had also been appointed as a Pro Tempore, commonly called Ad Hoc, Judge to the 24th Judicial Juvenile Court. I regularly was appointed to fill in for elected Judges, when they were unavailable, in the Juvenile Court system in the 24th Judicial District; this included the Juvenile Court Drug Court Program. These appointments are approved by the Louisiana Supreme Court. I have also served in the Louisiana State Bar Association House of Delegates.
Civic involvement and affiliations1) 22nd Judicial District Bar Association
2) St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce, Advisory Board in 2018
3) Northshore Republican Men’s Club
4) Mandeville Soccer Club Coach / Referee
5) Seniors And Law Enforcement Together (SALT) professional member.

Questions specific to the position

1. Describe your experience as an attorney with civil and criminal court trials, including numbers of jury and judge trials and your record for settlements and plea bargains. During my 32 years of practice I have been trial counsel in both civil and criminal matters. As an Assistant District Attorney alone I have been involved in over ninety jury trials in this jurisdiction alone, handling cases in both Washington and St. Tammany Parishes. This includes jury trials as a volunteer Special Assistant District Attorney prior to being employed by the District Attorney's Office. My employment began in July of 2003.

In private practice I became so proficient in handling small civil cases in Judge trials that I was invited to teach a Continuing Legal Education class on the subject.
2. What factors would you consider in granting and setting bail amounts and in granting (non-bail) sign out bonds for defendants? What do you believe is the primary consideration? There are numerous laws that dictate what judges shall and may consider in setting bail. Louisiana C.Cr.P. Art. 312 dictates one of the starting points for any bail considerations. This article begins with the proposition that a person in generally entitled to bail before conviction. There are provisions for denial of bail in certain types of cases, including recent amendments to the law involving domestic violence cases.

Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 316 provides the following considerations:
Art. 316. Factors in fixing amount of bail

The amount of bail shall be fixed in an amount that will ensure the presence of the defendant, as required, and the safety of any other person and the community, having regard to:

(1) The seriousness of the offense charged, including but not limited to whether the offense is a crime of violence or involves a controlled dangerous substance.
(2) The weight of the evidence against the defendant.
(3) The previous criminal record of the defendant.
(4) The ability of the defendant to give bail.
(5) The nature and seriousness of the danger to any other person or the community that would be posed by the defendant's release.
(6) The defendant's voluntary participation in a pretrial drug testing program.
(7) The absence or presence in the defendant of any controlled dangerous substance.
(8) Whether the defendant is currently out on a bail undertaking on a previous felony arrest for which he is awaiting institution of prosecution, arraignment, trial, or sentencing.
(9) Any other circumstances affecting the probability of defendant's appearance.
(10) The type or form of bail.

A Judge always must keep in mind the likelihood of the defendant appearing before the Court as instructed.

The U.S. Department of Justice summarizes U.S. Constitutional guidelines as follows:
General Provisions Regarding Bail and Detention in Criminal Cases: The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that '[e]xcessive bail shall not be required . . .' U.S. Const. Amend. VIII. The United States Supreme Court has interpreted this amendment to prohibit the imposition of excessive bail without creating a right to bail in criminal cases. See United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739, 754-55 (1987)('eighth amendment does not grant absolute right to bail'). The subject of bail and detention also implicates the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, and requires that laws imposing pretrial detention 'serve a compelling governmental interest', Salerno, 481 U.S. at 752, and 'the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment'. See United States v. Ailemen, 165 F.R.D. 571, 577 (N.D.Cal. 1996)(internal citations omitted).

The Constitution allows for the Court to consider the level of danger that the defendant represents to others if released on bail. For example, relatively recent additions to Louisiana law require what a called Gwen's Law hearings with regard to certain kinds of Domestic Violence arrests. At these hearings bail is usually set, but sometimes bail is denied at that first hearing. These hearings are in part governed by La. C.Cr.P. Art. 313 and require a Court to consider additional factors that include: (a) The criminal history of the defendant. (b) The potential threat or danger the defendant poses to the victim, the family of the victim, or to any member of the public, especially children.
(c) Documented history or records of any of the following: substance abuse by the defendant; threats of suicide by the defendant; the defendant's use of force or threats of use of force against any victim; strangulation, forced sex, or controlling the activities of any victim by the defendant; or threats to kill. Documented history or records may include but are not limited to sworn affidavits, police reports, and medical records.

These laws provide a framework for a Judge to make a decision. This decision must of necessity also take into consideration the Judge's experience in these matters. My extensive experience in criminal law, as a prosecutor and in the general practice of law, provides me with a wealth of experience.
3. What are your beliefs regarding alternative sentences for non-violent offenders, juveniles, or people experiencing homelessness, mental illness, or drug addiction? The 22nd Judicial District Court has six adult specialty courts. These Courts offer Judges an opportunity to place those with addiction, mental health, or other problems into a treatment regime proven to be more effective than simple probation or imprisonment alone. As a prosecutor I have frequently participated in referring defendants to these programs where appropriate. I strongly believe in these programs and would request that I be assigned to one of the courts as soon as possible. I have experience presiding as an Appointed Judge Pro Tem (Ad Hoc) in a Juvenile Court Drug Court Program and I found that specialty court to be an excellent mechanism to help troubled youth move in the direction of being a law abiding and productive citizen.
4. What are the biggest hurdles to achieving fairness for all defendants, regardless of their socioeconomic status, and how would you address those hurdles? Achieving fairness and justice for all before the Court is imperative. Socioeconomic status can affect both a defendant's perception of the Court and their understanding of the proceedings. Often defendants do not feel that they will be fairly treated by the Court. I have a strong reputation for listening and fairness in my dealings with attorneys and defendants.

A Judge must start by treating all before the Court with respect and dignity. A defendant must be allowed the opportunity to fairly present their position to the Court. Generally this is done through counsel, but at times it is appropriate for a defendant to address the court directly. Indeed, many defendants represent themselves. Self-representation presents special difficulties for a court which must deal with the individual who lacks a firm understanding of the laws of procedure and evidence. The defendant has little or no experience with basic courtroom procedure and a Judge must account for these facts in addressing the person appearing before the Court.

The Court must strike the appropriate balance in dealing with all of the varied individuals who appear before the Court. A Court must respect the litigants and their attorneys. It is this foundation of respect and professionalism that is the starting place for achieving fairness for all defendants, regardless of their socioeconomic status. For a Court to earn respect it must give respect to all, criminal defendants, victims, witnesses, plaintiffs, civil defendants, their attorneys and others.